Silly though it may sound, an invention called the Bodyguard Blanket is no joke. In fact, the backpack-like bulletproof shield -- whose aim is to protect children from school shootings and natural disasters such as tornadoes -- may represent one of the most tragically apropos inventions of our time.
As such events become more prevalent, an Oklahoma company fittingly called ProTecht is now bringing its creation to market after nearly 10 months in development.
At 5/16 of an inch thick and composed of the same bullet-resistant material used by the U.S. military, wearers are meant to shroud themselves and huddle in the event of an emergency -- not unlike a turtle retracting into its shell.
In addition to bullets, the bright orange shield protects against tornado projectiles like nails and shards of metal, reports The Oklahoman, and makes it easier to spot victims buried under debris.
Though $1,000 a pop might sound pricey, the Blanket’s inventors said they represent a cheaper and faster -- though not necessarily more effective -- alternative to building tornado shelters.
The product’s creator is an Oklahoman podiatrist named Steve Walker, who shared his sketch with another inventor -- and one of his patients -- Stan Schone. The ProTecht executive team is rounded out by engineering professor Jay Hanan, who advised that they employ a cutting-edge material called Dyneema, which is five times stronger than Kevlar.
Subjected to the same ballistics tests used to analyze police officers’ bulletproof vests, production will happen locally in Oklahoma, they said, in order to ensure quality control.
A somewhat harrowing video the team created to introduce the project can be viewed below: